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Steady, Sometimes Heavy Rains Bring Relief
LA MESA -- Heavy rains overnight added to two days of steady drizzle and caused some flooding problems in the region. But for firefighters who have lived each day for the past year awaiting the next brush fire to chase, the rain finally brought some relief.
"Overnight it got heavy and caused some damage, but not anything of significance in La Mesa,'' said Heartland Fire Chief Rick Sitta. "Generally, this was a good rain. Now we need a string of these sorts of rains right through March.''
Sitta and his firefighters have been living with the daily threat of being called out in dry conditions. Grasses and brush dried by years of drought threatened at any moment to require massive response to keep large-scale events from spiraling out of control.
"This is the kind of rain that big fuel can soak up,'' Sitta said. "We had a couple days of slow, steady rain and that works for us.''
And Sitta noted that this storm was state-wide. "We're building snow pack early this year and that will help with the drought somewhere down the line.''
But after years of drought and dry conditions, Sitta is realistic about how quickly a few days of Santa Ana conditions can dry out the grasses and put the firefighters back on the nervous watch again.